Thursday, June 26, 2014

Be Kind, Please Rewind: Favorites From Favorites

A little known fact about me is that my middle-name is Procrastination. My parents were able to glimpse into the future, and they saw that I would be the absolute slacker-est slacker in a family full of layabouts. Yes, I totally agree that it was a waste of their paranormal abilities. They could have been investing in Apple or preventing the birth of James Franco and saving us from a war with North Korea. Way to go, Mom and Dad. You've doomed us all.


This is a belated thank-you to a handful of incredible individuals who were kind enough to bless me with their friendships and their hand-me-down VHS. Analog bliss in the form of gifts from people who mean the world to me.

With the recent release of images from the latest installment in the series [Mad Max: Fury Road], it only makes sense to start with the most topical of treats. The copy of Mad Max (1979) on the left is one that I found at the thrift shop a while back. I feel like I may have shown it off before, but maybe I'm mistaken. I'm certainly too lazy to go back and check.

It's prettier "sister" to the right recently ended up part of my collection courtesy of Derek, The Goodwill Geek. I've ranted and raved about both the blog and the man before, but that won't stop me from doing so again. He's easily one of the most generous people I've encountered through my blogging here, but it's far from his best quality. Hilarious, and with a sense of aesthetic and taste that I can definitely admire, it's been an absolute blast getting to know him over the last year. Things have only gotten sweeter since he's joined up with the cast of Geek Fallout, which means I'm allowed the opportunity to actually chat with him on a mostly regular basis.

Another goodie from Derek, we have a nearly-forgotten gem from 1987, The Visionaries. Based on a stellar toy-line from the same year, it featured several warriors with various abilities they could harness through the use of their hologram chest-plates. The VHS was released by Hi-Tops Video, which was truly a mark of quality for the mid-'80s. They were also responsible for releasing tapes for other animated programs like My Pet Monster, Madballs and The Inhumanoids.

Remember when I mentioned earlier that I was a Class-A Procrastinator?

These two tapes were gifted to me by Laura [aka: Boo Bobby] back during the holiday. The Christmas holiday. It took me six months to finally get around to highlighting my two favorite tapes; both of them are pure nostalgic catnip for me. I was a huge fan of Ernest P. Worrell and his constant misadventures. Whether it was saving Christmas or developing super-powers after a failed execution [yes, seriously], I couldn't get enough of Jim Varney's wacky alter-ego. Ernest Goes to Camp (1987) is apparently the best received film in the franchise, and I was thrilled to add it to my collection.

Anything F.H.E [Family Home Entertainment] immediately catches my attention; the company's presence on the shelves at my childhood video store was overwhelming. When it also happens to be a Thundercats release, well, maybe I should have saved that catnip quip for this. It was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid, but still manages to enthrall me to this day. Especially when it involves Monkian and a tyrannosaurus rex.

Summer has, thankfully, brought Laura back into the blogging fold. I've been lucky enough to keep in touch with her during the quiet periods thanks to other social medias, but it's doubly nice to see her writing again and sharing lovely pictures of her projects and her family.

Delicious is the first word that comes to mind when I look at this limited-edition Halloween: 10-31-78 box set. Released by Anchor Bay to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of John Carpenter's Halloween, it was a total rarity during the days of VHS. The set contained two tapes, which featured a number of interviews, deleted scenes and making-of featurettes. The type of stuff that is all too common nowadays on DVD and Blu-Ray releases, but not so with the limitations of the VHS-format.

Also, I just love the orange. I'm a total sucker for tapes molded in a color other than black, and these just scream jack o'lanterns and falling leaves and Michael Myers stalking his prey.


I may not have mentioned, but both the Halloween tapes and the one you see above originated from the dorkiest locale around, the home of Miss M. I don't have much to say about this copy of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), except that I am in love with the New Arrival sticker on the front of the box. Probably more than the film itself, and I adore any movie that features Bobby Budnick and Don and Dan Stanton.

I do, however, have plenty to say about Miss M, and you better believe that it is all fantastic. It's hardly earth-shattering news, because I'm certain this wonderful, little community of ours is already aware of how great she is. But she's great; genuine and caring, one of the friendliest people I've ever known. Imaginative in the best way possible, it's been an inspiration reading her blog and the tall-tales she spins about her toy counterpart. It means the world to me that I get to call her my friend.

Man, favorites from favorites really should have been favorites from friends. I'd go back and change it, but then I'd be going against my nature and my middle-name.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Image is Everything: An Introduction

A couple weeks back, I made an appearance on an episode of Geek Fallout: The Comic Book Episodes where we discussed Image Comics. You can listen to it here.

As a young comic reader in the early to mid-nineties, the formation of Image Comics was an absolutely mind-blowing event. Top talents from Marvel, my one true love at the time, jumped ship to form their own company without all the Comics Code restrictions and editorial interference. Regardless the quality of several titles, I still dove right in and devoured most of the books that this newly founded publisher put on the shelves. But my love and admiration for everything eXtreme had to start somewhere, right?

Yup, that's Spawn issue number three, dated August 1992, and it's the first Image comic that I ever picked up. It's not the exact copy; the original is tucked away in a bin somewhere, but I found this second copy in the dollar-bins at my local comic shop the other day and couldn't leave it behind. It's not a particularly thrilling issue, but I suffer severe bouts of nostalgia just flipping through it. Something that's worth the price of admission alone.

Obviously, this is -very- early in the title's publication, a time when Todd McFarlane was at his absolute best. Hot off a super-successful run on Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man, his new venture was easily one of the most anticipated of Image's announced books and would serve as one of the company's two launch-titles [along with Rob Liefeld's Youngblood]. The promise of occult-based ultra-violence and heavy melodramatics, paired with McFarlane's uniquely gritty art-style, was all that was needed to catch my attention.

Like many of those early Image comics, this particular issues doesn't hold up very well. That's okay, though, because it served its true purpose all those years ago. It hooked me, reeled me in to this world of grim anti-heroes and cyborg-mutants, alien cops and edgy vigilantes, and it's refused to let me go, even two decades later.

Stay tuned, true-believers, because there's a lot more style-over-substance to come..!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Deathlok Wants to Live at Your House: The Results!

Hey, I'm a day late on posting this.

That's par for the course around these parts, so apologies to any newcomers that were expecting me to be prompt. It rarely happens because I'm the worst. Except when I'm the best and giving away free stuff like comics and junk. You get used to it, I guess.

Right so, thank you to all for taking the time to check out the blog, and for leaving comments and entering the contest. Basically, everything that you do and for everything that you are. It turns out that I can't be the best after all, because you beat me to that top spot. You're the best.

And because you're all top of the heap, a-number-one, king of the hill, I've got a little special something for each and every one of you.

Comics for everybody..!

I did mention before that I buy a lot of comics. So many, remember? And since I've got more than enough already, and am buying more all the time, well it only makes sense to part with more than a handful. That means that everyone that entered into the contest is gonna end up receiving a small assortment of back-issues. Floppies for all, I say.

All you have to do to claim this consolation prize is send me an email to itstrashculture[at] with an address where I can ship 'em out to. Feel free to include a small list of favorite characters or titles, and I'll try to dig up something good and specially chosen for each of you.

Of course, unfortunately, while everyone is gonna walk away with something, only one of you can actually receive the Deathlok Lives trade that was pictured in the original contest-post. I randomly drew the winner's name earlier today, and that lucky participant was none other than Patrick C.

So, Patrick, if you could please send me an email to claim your prize, I'll get that out to you ASAP.

Again, thank you all for visiting the blog, and be sure to keep a look out for next month's special One Year Anniversary Free Giveaway..!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Deathlok Wants to Live at Your House

I buy a lot of comic books.

Like, so many of them.

Sometimes this means that I end up with duplicates; issues I had forgotten I'd read before purchased for a second [or even third!] time. Part of my attempt to avoid becoming a comic-related hoarder has been stuffing random floppies into the free giveaways and consolation prizes from previous contests.

Yeah, you might have noticed that there haven't been a whole lot of giveaways/contests lately. I mean, really, there hasn't been a whole lot of content here on the blog these last couple months, so it only makes sense that the freebies would have fallen by the wayside, too. Next month marks the one-year anniversary of my first "One Man's Trash..." Free Giveaway, though, so I'm gearing up for a Godzilla-sized contest to commemorate and celebrate the occasion.

For now, I've decided to run a little comic-related giveaway to hold you all over until then.

If you follow me over on Twitter [@itstrashculture] or Instagram [also, @itstrashculture], you've probably noticed that I've been splurging quite a bit on books from my local comic shop's dollar-bins. I've found tons of ridiculously great issues to add to my collection; the type of stuff that I plan to hold onto forever and ever.

But there's the occasional books that I have no real use for that prove to be too good a deal to pass on.

Like the Captain America: Deathlok Lives trade paperback that you see above.

Published by Marvel in 1993, it collects issues #286, 287 and 288 from the original Captain America series. The three-part story arc finds The Star-Spangled Avenger flung into the far-future and teaming-up with the first incarnation of Deathlok, Luther Manning. It's an awesome little tale that I'd recommend to any fans of Cap [or Deathlok!], and I'm giving someone a chance to win this very copy.

Oh, and I'll definitely be throwing a few more random floppies in the "prize-pack", as if you needed any more incentive to take part in the giveaway.

All you have to do is leave a comment below, or shoot an email to itstrashculture[at] Feel free to talk anything comic-related, whether it's a favorite time-travel story or the first Captain America issue you ever read or whatever.

I'll be announcing the contest's winner next Saturday, June 14th, so you can enter any time between now and next Saturday morning. Keep your eyes peeled here for that announcement, and hopefully some fresh content will make an appearance in the meantime!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Cool, the Collected and the Terrapin


I guess it was recently, maybe, at least, Brian from over at Cool and Collected decided it was time to part ways with some of the excess toys he's accumulated over the last year. An entire basement filled to the brim with the type of stuff I could only dream about owning. Everything from Star Wars to G.I.Joe to my very own, very-current obsession: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

There's no need to rehash the tale of my budding collection. Let's just get right into taking a look at all the goodies I managed to score from the man who brought us all together.

Yes, I've mentioned before that I like to piece together my own collection from thrifty discoveries out in the wild. Occasionally, though, I stumble across an opportunity that's too good to pass up. Brian's generosity, offering up the goods for a fraction of the cost to his fellow collectors, was definitely one of those times. There's some key figures that I haven't had any luck finding at the flea market or thrift shops, like the Raphael figure you see above, that I've been itching to add to the trash-pile.

I often browse websites, eBay and Etsy and other shops, picking stuff out and creating small lots of action figures and other collectibles. I'll go so far as to add them to my cart, and then eventually I'll delete the whole thing. Exerting just the tiniest bit of self-control in my own sad way. I almost did the same thing here, putting together a fantasy-list of figures to inquire about, but not following through.

Until I saw Baxter Stockman in all his hybrid fly-man glory.

He's absolutely one of my favorite characters from the original TMNT animated series and toy-line. I knew when I saw him lined up with all the other figures that Brian was looking to purge, that there was no going back. That he had to be mine.

Oh yes, he had to be mine.

Another insect that's after my heart and probably my blood, too. Scumbug here was once a man [wassss once a man], an exterminator who found himself mutated, bonded with the cockroach he was aiming to maim. Becoming a literally bug-eyed bandit; out to wreak havoc and skitter away when Donatello turns on the lights. I'm pretty sure Donnie can find him lurking beneath the fridge.

Here's Ray Fillet, the heroic man-manta-ray, who I desperately pined away for as a wee little trash-boy. I loved his adventures with the Turtles in the pages of the Archie Comics' TMNT series, as well as the spin-off The Mighty Mutanimals, where he led his own team of mutant heroes. I simply adored his devilish [devil-fish?] smile. Also, he's teal!

Teal is tops, brah.

Confession time.

I've only seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) once, way back when it was first released on VHS. Despite being a huge fan of the franchise, I was bordering on teen-hood when the film hit theaters, so opted out of seeing it during its initial run. I honestly don't remember much except for time-travel to feudal Japan and Casey Jones babysitting some samurais.

And even though there's no love for the third Turtles flick, I found myself craving these two "movie-style" action figures. I kinda' dig Mikey in samurai garb, and I couldn't possibly resist Splinter with his faux-fur and clothe robe. It's a definite improvement over the original release Splinter, who I remember being completely naked for a majority of the time that I owned him.

I wasn't that weird a kid, really, I promise.